When my son was three, I asked him where Jesus was born. His response, "the hospital?" It was the logical response, but it seemed like a good time to refresh his memory about the Christmas story.
So I snuggled him close and read the first part of the Christmas story in the Jesus Storybook Bible. Afterward I asked him the same question. His response this time, "That place? Starbucks?" At least he understood that a star was involved, right?
Then we went to the page about God creating space, and I asked him, "Luke, who created the stars and outer space?" And you know what he says? "Darth Vader"
Part of me giggled at his sweet little three-year-old self and part of me panicked. My thoughts went something like this:
Has nothing I taught him sunk in? He should really know how to sing "Jesus Loves Me" and "This Little Light of Mine." Should I start doing more scripture memory? Shouldn't he be able to recite at least one verse? But would if he knows all the verses but not Jesus? What if he knows the rules but not the rescuer?
Maybe you've had similar thoughts? It's easy to get caught up in the overwhelming "how to" roundabout of how to teach children about the Bible. I've merged onto the circle plenty of times and quickly feel stuck. When I do, here's my exit strategy that helps guide me:
Talk about Jesus + the Gospel
Trust Jesus with their hearts
I have to remember that it's not my job (and I can't do it even if I tried) to make my kids into Christ-followers. Only God can change their hearts. But, I can show and tell them how the gospel changes me. I can talk to them about how Jesus loves them. I can teach them the truths of the Bible in our everyday life. I can read from the Bible to my children and show them that I believe it.
Certainly, God doesn't expect me to do it perfectly. He knows I'll teach my kids about being patient with one another and then have a "moment" five minutes later when I reflect everything but patience and grace. But God is a good good Father--one who leads me gently and guides me (Isaiah 40:11). He doesn't say, "Well, Nicole, you missed the mark. Your kids will never trust me." He can use my efforts sourced from pride, and He can use my lowest and most feeble efforts. He can use everything and anything to draw my children towards Himself. Remembering that lifts a tremendous amount of pressure from my mom-shoulders. Whew!
So, this is what I want you to know: every single resource, idea, or product I share with you is never meant to be another thing that you should do, get, or buy. The last thing I want to do is overwhelm you, launch you onto that roundabout, or make you question if you're doing enough.
Rather, my hope and prayer is that they are simply a creative tool that your family can use if it fits and works for you. They are meant to be life-giving, playful, fun, and interactive. I truly LOVE creating and sharing them with you.
I can't wait to share some new resources and favorite finds with you! Stay tuned!